“Our City leadership identified smart metering as a long-term cost savings and water conservation measure during the fiscal year 2018 budget process. Oakland Park is committed to making process improvements that maximize our operating efficiency and make the most effective use of our natural resources. Our city is in the midst of significant redevelopment and we project continued population growth. Smart metering is an important component of improving our infrastructure and will help Oakland Park become a greener community.”
– Albert Carbon, City of Oakland Park Public Works Director
The City of Oakland Park has awarded a $6.4 million guaranteed performance contract to Energy Systems Group (ESG), a leading energy services provider, to develop a comprehensive scope of energy efficiency and infrastructure solutions, the first phase of which is a Smart Metering Program to replace standard water meters in our utility service area. The meter infrastructure upgrades will enhance customer service, provide early leak detection, increase revenue, provide needed code compliance of backflow prevention, and reduce operating costs. Meter upgrades will begin in March 2018. This website will help keep the local community informed about the program schedule, benefits, and overall impact.
Like many municipalities with older piping and metering infrastructure, the City of Oakland Park’s meter systems are a source of revenue loss due to water leaks that are difficult to diagnose. Moreover, the costs of manual meter reading and vehicle maintenance have been rising. By installing smart metering technology, data will be collected directly from the meters through a cellular network, reducing the need for manual reading. In addition to the convenient and accurate data collection, the technology has alert capabilities, thereby providing real-time notifications about system leaks, meter tampering, and backflows. ESG estimates that the project will result in approximately $15.5 million dollars of cost savings over the 15-year contract term.
Automated Meter Reading (AMR) and Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), allow water utilities to gather utility usage data from its customers, both residential and commercial, without manually reading meters. The utility improves services and saves money by minimizing the costs associated with reading individual residential and commercial meters while allowing more time to do other required maintenance activities. In addition, Automated Meter Reading/Advanced Metering Infrastructure improves data accuracy and helps identify anomalies.
Automated meter systems and Advanced Metering Infrastructur are quickly becoming the standard for utilities around the country. These new devices allow for more accurate and faster collection of water usage readings than the current manual method and improve safety conditions for City staff. Currently, the meter readers must open every meter box to obtain a reading from the meter. Introducing automatic meter reading as the standard for the City of Oakland Park is one of the ways we can better serve our customers and improve the overall efficiency of the water department.
No. The radio transmission operates in compliance with FCC regulations to avoid interference with other electronic devices.
No. Since the water meters are located outside of the home in the City right-of-way, you will not need to be home for the replacement work.
If you have a leak, low pressure or some other problem after the installation, or at any other time, you will be provided contact numbers that you can call to report your concern. Because your water will be turned off temporarily during the meter change process, you may experience a brief period of air or discolored water. In most cases, briefly running your cold water will clear this situation.
To upgrade the meter to one capable of communicating with the AMI equipment, and as a means to replace aging meters after they have reached the end of their life cycle. With the introduction of newer technology, the existing meters are not able to communicate using the AMI technology. The newer meters will save labor time, prevent recording errors, minimize wear and tear on vehicles, and minimize the need for City employees to access the meter pit.
Yes. All meters will be changed to be read by the automated metering infrastructure technology.
Yes. Meters come pretested along with results directly from the manufacturer. The radio device will be tested for accuracy during the meter collection process regularly.
• Improved customer service by increasing accuracy of meter readings.
• Minimized need to access meters at the property.
Possibly. Older meters tend to lose accuracy as they age and therefore do not measure all the water going through them. The new water meter will accurately measure the water that you use. All new meters are tested prior to delivery by the manufacturer to ensure that they register properly. If you see a higher bill immediately upon the new meter installation, it is likely the old meter was running slow.
No. Access needs to be available at all times. There will still be occurrences when meter technicians will visit the meter on site to perform routine maintenance or verify high readings. Obstructions to the meter box are subject to removal by City personnel.
Please keep access to the water meter available at all times to ensure it is accessible for any potential emergency that would require the meter to be turned off.
No. Only City staff are authorized to open the meter lid. Plumbers are not authorized to open meter lids.
Each radio frequency device has a unique identification number, which is transmitted along with the meter reading. The unique number is compared to your account record to ensure a match.
The number of meter readers will be reduced and retrained for other jobs some of which will become Meter Maintenance and Repair Technicians. The Meter Technicians will be inspecting all water meters periodically to assure they are still assessable and in proper working order. City staff will continue to visit your property for routine service, maintenance or repair. We will continue to respond to water emergencies.